Swiss Movement

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Swiss Movement
Live album by
RecordedJune 21, 1969
VenueMontreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
GenreSoul jazz
ProducerNesuhi Ertegün, Bob Emmer
Eddie Harris chronology
High Voltage
Swiss Movement
Free Speech
Les McCann chronology
Much Les
Swiss Movement

Swiss Movement is a soul jazz[1] live album recorded on June 21, 1969 at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland by the Les McCann trio, with saxophonist Eddie Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey.[2][3] The album was a hit record, as was the accompanying single "Compared to What", with both selling millions of units.[1]

Reception and influence[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[5]

The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best jazz performance, small group.[6] It reached No. 1 on Billboard's jazz album chart, No. 2 on the R&B chart,[7] and No. 29 on the LP chart.[8][9]

A Billboard writer commented in 2006 that "what put Montreux on the recorded-live-in-concert map was the legendary Swiss Movement album".[10] Writing in AllMusic, Richie Unterberger calls Swiss Movement "one of the most popular soul jazz albums of all time, and one of the best."[4]

The tapes of this impromptu concert were originally recorded by the festival's organisers and then passed on to Atlantic, who decided to release them after paying a fee of less than 100 dollars.[11]

McCann and Harris teamed up again for a follow-up recording, Second Movement, released in 1971.[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Compared to What" – (Gene McDaniels): 8:41
  2. "Cold Duck Time" – (Eddie Harris): 6:31
  3. "Kathleen's Theme" – (Les McCann): 5:45
  4. "You Got It in Your Soulness" – (Les McCann): 7:08
  5. "The Generation Gap" – (Les McCann): 8:45
  6. "Kaftan" - (Leroy Vinnegar) – bonus track on the 1996 reissue:




  1. ^ a b Carr, Roy (2006) [1997], "Soul to Soul", A Century of Jazz: A Hundred Years of the Greatest Music Ever Made, London: Hamlyn, pp. 106–121, ISBN 0-681-03179-4
  2. ^ "BBC - Music - Review of Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Swiss Movement". Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  3. ^ Eddie Harris Discography, accessed June 22, 2017
  4. ^ a b c "Swiss Movement - Les McCann, Eddie Harris - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  5. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. pp. 96. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  6. ^ "'Swiss Movement' Grammy Nominee" (March 13, 1971) Billboard. p. 4.
  7. ^ Goldmark, Daniel (2012) In "Slightly Left of Center": Atlantic Records and the Problems of Genre. In Ake, David Andrew; Garrett, Charles Hiroshi; Goldmark, Daniel "Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries". University of California Press. p. 165.
  8. ^ "Billboard Top LP's". (February 28, 1970) Billboard. p. 70.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1991) "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums". Billboard Books. p. 119.
  10. ^ Ouellette, Dan (June 3, 2006) "On the Record". Billboard. p. 36.
  11. ^ "EH | the Official Website of Eddie Harris".
  12. ^ Edelstein, Paula. "Second Movement". AllMusic. Retrieved January 16, 2023.